Someone with a lack of motor control.

People like this are very accident-prone, and very comical to watch. They often have scars of past episodes of extreme clumsiness.

See Gerald Ford.

Clumsy is Our Lady Peace's second album, released in 1997. As the band's sophmore effort, this album is a bit more polished than Naveed, their first album, yet still not as refined at their later work. Clumsy also garnered the band broader recognition through wide-spread radio play of the singles Superman's Dead, 4am, and Clumsy. Over 2 million copies of this album have been sold.

Track listing:

  1. Superman's Dead
  2. Automatic Flowers
  3. Carnival
  4. Big Dumb Rocket
  5. 4am
  6. Shaking
  7. Clumsy
  8. Hello Oskar
  9. Let You Down
  10. The Story of 100 Aisles
  11. Car Crash

I am sorry
I did not mean to break the clasp of your necklace
but my fingers were urgent
not careful
and I was not watching what I was doing

I was, instead
looking at the way your fingers gripped the stair rail
white knuckles


I can no longer stand it. Goddamn clumsy idiot woman.

Trying to define things as 'natural' when talking about the behaviour of humans is rather unsteady ground, what with our having so distanced ourselves from our forraging simian ancestors. But it's probably pretty safe to say that extreme acts of violence for reasons not to do with continued prosperity are not natural.
However neither is it natural to be Ghandi, and thus I do not feel guilty about what is going to be a truly venemous bit of ranting.

I have been doing karate for 13 years, and I've been teaching for the last 4 or so. That last point isn't really so relevant except that it implies that I'm not overly crap at it. In so doing (karate, not going off on a tangent), I have become skillful with my bodily movements. It is in the nature of the art. Perhaps not as much so as a life-long ballerina or some such but nonetheless I have some skill. (resist the matrix quote resist the matrix quote resist...)

Whilst I am maybe more nimble than the average western human, that doesn't make the rest of you shuffling clods. Just a few of you. And it is these few that are about to bear my wrath.
How can a person cross a room without at some point looking at the floor? How? It's insane. At least a perfunctory glance to make sure that there aren't any toddlers, kittens, bear-traps*, shards of broken glass, dog turds, etc in your path.

I work in an office with a number of rooms. Unfortunately I share one with a woman who is an idiot. She seems to have no concept of her body as a part of the physical world. She moves as though she believes she is some kind of ethereal spirit for whom physical objects are no more a barrier than clouds are. Collisions. Mother-fucking collisions. How are people like this allowed to procreate? They abrade our world. They break every damn thing they come into contact with. They are unthinking destructors of the engineering of man.

This woman varies her position on her handicap. Generally there are three modes:
(1) - It is just a humourous facet of her personality - She is clumsy.
(2) - It is my fault for putting things on the floor/on the edge of a shelf/anywhere she can bring her bloated frame into contact with them.
(3) - Everyone is like this (at least some of the time).

No, no and NO. I am aware of the world. I am aware that I am part of it. I know that on a physical level the only special thing about my body is that it is MY responsibility if I collide it with things. If things collide with me then that is different. Of course in most cases I move out of the way when possible. But moving through an area of space which is filled with things is an artform, and an easily mastered one at that. Never mind advanced topics such as using parts of your surroundings to assist you in more complex or faster movement, simply not hitting things will do to start with.

But if that were all. I could probably learn to put up with this great swollen sack kicking over an hours worth of careful sorting on one of her many (pointlessly and inefficiently numerous) trips to another room, I could probably handle the mental transition to consider the edges of shelves/tables/worksurfaces as unsafe for items (thereby cutting the effective workspace by about 25%). It's the stamping. The crunching, booming, thumping of her fucking feet. Every time she walks behind me on entering or leaving the room, the floor, my chair, the desk, my fucking monitors SHAKE.
boom boom boom BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM boom boom boom
It's like Jurassic fucking Park, yes that shit with the glass of water really does happen. The physical world can sense her approach from the tortured cries of the parts she is currently pummelling with her hooves, and trembles in fear.

Now, note that I am not talking about fatness here. I know fat people who are capable of crossing a room without disturbing those glass office toys with the snow scenes in them. Sure they may bow the floor on their way through, the joists may creak and little showers of plaster dust may fall from where the walls and ceiling meet, but it's a gentle crescendo of strain. The world bears it and accepts it. But when you want to seriously fuck with the structural integrity of something you don't apply a steady constant force. No, you get out the piledriver and you thump it over and over and over until it gives up and crumbles into easily moveable detritus. Every footfall is like a hundred elephants stamping on the ground simultaneously. Or something.

When I move through a place I like to leave as little of a lasting impression as possible, save possibly for the memory of how gracefully I slid through the scene in the minds of those who happened to catch it. I like to use the word 'motion'. Say it. Notice the complete lack of hard consonants. It's more like 'moshun'. It slides off the tongue nicely. Now try 'stamping'. Or better yet, yell 'STAM-STAM-STAM-PING' at the top of your voice whilst knocking things over and kicking things. Very disharmonious.

Then there's the 'searching'. She has a pen she likes. When she loses it (too frequently for sanity) she proceeds to slam her meaty paws repeatedly into the surface of the desk and anything thereabouts. Maybe she is hoping to scare the damn thing into un-losing itself. Personally, if I was that pen (if you'll pardon the foray into anthropomorphism) then I would verily scoot myself into the deepest, darkest hiding place my inky little mind could conceive of.

This woman is a walking dodgem driven by a parisian psychopath, with randomly swinging pugil-stick attachments. She is a human stampede with none of the subtletey, a heffalump that could squash T-rex, a standing wave of white noise amplified beyond the realms of reason, a CLUMSY - FUCKING - SOW.

Then there's the God thing. I can handle people who have a faith in something, regardless of how silly and non-sensical it may seem to me. Even if the implications of what they believe in somehow suggest that I and my way of life are deficient in some way. But then there's evangelism. Now I really can't put up with that. Finding ways to directly inflict your views on others such as to explicitly state that what someone does or doesn't is impirically wrong or bad. No. Fuck off with that. Of course now I'm doing the very thing I'm criticising but you see my point. My beliefs are irrelevant to you and I imagine you have a value system of your own. Provided you don't start fucking with my shit then I'll trust you to govern your own life, regardless of whether I think that you are hindering your enjoyment of the world, withholding goodness from others or setting yourself up for a good eternity of infernal torture.

Now this woman isn't as bad as they come. But it's there. That self righteous air of 'my god is going to kick your ass because you don't live like me'. She has these stupid little post cards with 'and all the world is filled with His Glory' in big frilly writing over some clouds and so on taped to the wall beside her desk. She started to have a go at one of my colleagues (her superior) about considering not going home to his family at easter.

The problem is that once you start thinking like this then you assume you're right about everything, and that the people around you need to be commanded how to live. For example, when programming or some such, I get nervous. I don't know why, but I get a sort of nervous tension thing going on. I'm not worried about anything, but I become extremely irritable if disturbed, and I need munchies badly. If I don't have munchies then I bite my nails. Only god-woman has opinions about nail-biting and seems to think that I am in need of her wisdom, and thus tells me to stop biting my nails. A couple of times she has actually told me to show her my nails, as though I was her (long-suffering) offspring or something. That thought is about the most abhorrent idea I can possibly conceive of. I just ignore her at the moment. Another little gem is her inability to understand the 'Bad Mood Rule'. If someone is clearly in a bad mood do not talk to them about anything to do with the bad mood they're in. If you do you are absolutely gaurunteed to make them angrier. This woman is a one-stop fury generator.

I think the worst of all though is that she is about the worst computer operator I have ever known. I am including my mother in that statement. She just causes things to break. I don't understand it. I spent an entire day sorting out an email problem on her machine, and then finished up and started working on mine. It then took her three minutes to delete six months of emails. Annoyingly I hadn't backed these up (my bad). But BAM, they were just deleted. Just like that. Also she's well versed in Idiot Know-Nothing IT Jargon Bullshit. This is where people who know nothing about IT assume that people who know enormous amounts about IT really don't actually know that much, and that the jargon can be made up on the spot. As such when they tell you that the 'windows is causing illegal errors on the hard drive' or something and you say 'what?' they then get all superior because they somehow think that you're the idiot for not understanding them. Never mind 12 years of dedicated study and the astonishing amount of brain power required, no all you need to do is string together a few buzzwords you've picked up and WHAMMO, you're a computer expert.

Anyway, I think I've burned out for now, but I'll probably add more to this the next time she does something really stupid.

'Til then...


* Soon to be a real possibility...

Clum"sy (?), a. [Compar. Clumsier (?); superl. Clumsiest.] [OE. clumsed benumbed, fr. clumsen to be benumbed; cf. Icel. klumsa lockjaw, dial. Sw. klummsen benumbed with cold. Cf. 1st Clam, and 1st Clamp.]


Stiff or benumbed, as with cold.



Without skill or grace; wanting dexterity, nimbleness, or readiness; stiff; awkward, as if benumbed; unwieldy; unhandy; hence; ill-made, misshapen, or inappropriate; as, a clumsy person; a clumsy workman; clumsy fingers; a clumsy gesture; a clumsy excuse.

But thou in clumsy verse, unlicked, unpointed, Hast shamefully defied the Lord's anointed. Dryden.

Syn. -- See Awkward.


© Webster 1913.

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